User: flenvcenter Topic: Education Arts and Culture-Independent
Category: Environmental Philosophy
Last updated: Feb 09 2016 06:30 IST RSS 2.0
 
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There's No 'Big Fix' For Water Crises 9.2.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
SAN FRANCISCO – January 27 was the 100th anniversary of Hatfield’s flood. You may have missed the occasion unless you were with Cynthia Barnett . Barnett, an environmental journalist, has written three books about water and last week she was in Corte Madera, California discussing her most recent book, " Rain: A Natural and Cultural History ," which was nominated for the National Book award. In "Rain," Barnett writes about Californian Charles Hatfield. Hatfield was a “rainmaker” – someone who persuaded the public that he could conjure precipitation with a mix of special chemicals. In 1915 Hatfield convinced the San Diego City Council to pay him $10,000 if he could bring enough water to San Diego by year's end to fill Morena Reservoir. “He built his derrick, he climbed it, he was cooking up all these chemicals in a pan and right away it began to rain and rain and rain and flood,” said Barnett. “This is in January 1916. The reservoir filled, it overtopped and then the dam broke.” The flood wiped out houses, ...
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The Victims of Gun Violence Politicians Won't Talk About 2.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This piece was co-authored by Rockwell Schwartz, recent graduate of Vassar College's Science, Technology, & Society program. A shooting is happening right now at Vassar College. It is the fourth the campus has seen in the past six years. Over 115 have already been killed, their blood spilled on the college fields. Yet, it's unlikely you've heard anything about it. The national media remains silent; not even the local news has covered the grieving families or lost friends. No candlelight vigils, no memorials, no communal mourning, as the victims remain unidentified and seemingly forgotten. What's happening at Vassar College should be shocking, but similar shootings have been largely ignored across the country. The annual death toll climbs well into the millions, yet there is no accurate record of the casualties. Why? Because the victims were born as members of the wrong species. In the brewing national discussion on gun violence, the most numerous victims--animals--are left out of the conversation. For ...
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Come on Mr. Mayor, Leave the Central Park Carriage Horses Alone 1.2.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
New York City is a wonderful city, but, like many wonderful places, it has its problems: homelessness, poverty, underperforming schools, decaying infrastructure, 600 miles of vulnerable coastline, and the ever present threat of crime and terrorism. Nowhere on the list of priorities or problems would I place the horse-drawn carriages that line up on Central Park South and give tourists, and the occasional romantic local, a quick spin through the lower park. Like the Staten Island Ferry, the Met, Lincoln Center, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square, this place and these carriages are an iconic piece of the city that never sleeps. Experts I have spoken to tell me that these horses are healthy and well-treated and the energies of animal rights experts to ban them are misplaced and would be better spent on the many truly abused animals in our city, not to mention the abused humans. In Jim Dwyer's January 21 New York Times column, he explains the real estate interests behind the proposed carriage ban and, as ...
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How Can You Inspire Others to Help Animals Too? 28.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." That's why I love stories. Stories make people feel. Although I watched it as a kid, I never really understood what the movie, Gorillas in the Mist, was about. Then I watched it again as a teen, more aware of the issue of poaching and endangered species, and it left me heartbroken. I even cried when one of the baby gorillas gets kidnapped, leaving behind an inconsolable mother, weeping for her child. That made me feel. It also made me want to do something. In addition to donating, writing letters to legislators and politicians, and signing petitions, I also -- rather desperately -- wanted to shout to everybody in the world: ''Why aren't you listening!? Why aren't you doing anything either!?'' But all that would have got me was a bad reputation as one of those ''mad animal rights activists,'' as some people call them. The truth is, you get ...
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Cosmetics Industry and Animal Testing 27.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Photo by Meredith Lee/HSUS The announcement that PETA UK has accused nine leading cosmetics brands of breaking European law by selling products tested on animals for the Chinese market is very disturbing, if not surprising. European Union law bans the sale of any cosmetic product that has been tested on animals in finished form after 2004, as well as cosmetics containing ingredients subject to new animal testing after 2013. According to PETA, cosmetics brands Benefit, Bliss, Caudalie, Clarins, Clinique, Dior, Estée Lauder and Gucci all sell their products in China, where the law requires pre-market animal testing for all imported cosmetics. There are also reports of Chinese authorities carrying out post-market animal testing on cosmetics already approved for sale, and also requiring companies to carry out additional animal testing for cosmetic ingredients that have not previously been approved for use in China. There are many beauty companies, including my own , that have not entered the lucrative ...
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PETA Actually Submitted This NSFW Ad To The Super Bowl. Wow. 26.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This would-be Super Bowl commercial would have guaranteed more scoring during the big game. PETA posted a steamy PSA on YouTube Monday that encourages guys to go vegan for better sex. The animal-rights group told The Huffington Post it originally intended it for broadcast during the Super Bowl. "We did try to submit the ad last fall but we didn't get a response from the executives at CBS," a spokeswoman told HuffPost. Gee, shocking. The spot (watch below) is basically a soft-porn exercise that features a split screen of two couples going at it -- one of the men is a vegan and the other not. Let's just say the latter suffers a premature "deflategate." And it's all to emphasize PETA's message that "cholesterol in meat, eggs, and dairy products slows the flow of blood to all the body's organs—not just the heart." You might forget you're being told anything at all while watching.   This isn't the first time PETA submitted an outrageous ad to the Super Bowl for attention. In 2009 a spot that featured models ...
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Thoughts on Rojava: An Interview With Janet Biehl 18.1.2016 Truthout.com
Women's assembly near Qamislo on December 6, 2014. (Photo: Janet Biehl ) In this interview, independent filmmaker and journalist Zanyar Omrani talks to Janet Biehl about her late companion Murray Bookchin, her trips to Rojava and the important question of how to build bottom-up power structures without risking the reversal of the process over time. Janet Biehl has traveled to Rojava twice in the past year and has written extensively about her experiences and observations while visiting the autonomous cantons in northern Syria. She is the author of the book Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin . Zanyar Omrani has visited Rojava several times, where he documented life behind the front-lines of the struggle against ISIS. His documentary, Inside Kobane: Keeping Islamic State at Bay, was screened by the BBC. *** Zanyar Omrani: Can you tell us about your first encounter with the Kurdish issue, and explain why it caught your attention? Janet Biehl: After Bookchin died in 2006, several people sent ...
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It's Almost Impossible to Ethically Justify the Use of Animals in Research 17.1.2016 Truthout.com
Following the announcement that the National Institutes of Health would retire its lab chimpanzees to sanctuaries, professor Lori Gruen discusses what that decision means for chimpanzees and other animals - human and nonhuman. Chimpanzees at the Chimp Haven, the national chimpanzee sanctuary, in Keithville, Louisiana. A report from the National Institutes of Health recommended that the majority of the chimpanzees owned or supported by the institute that are now at research facilities should be permanently retired from research and moved to sanctuaries. (Photo: Lee Celano / The New York Times) Last November, the National Institutes of Health announced it would be retiring the remainder of its lab chimpanzees to sanctuaries, two years after deciding to retire all but 50. It is a decision that has many animal welfare activists thrilled, but even among them, few have more reason to celebrate than Lori Gruen. A professor of feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, environmental studies, and philosophy at ...
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The End of an Error 16.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
During his State of the Union address, Barack Obama alluded, not for the first time during his presidency, to John Muir's old camping buddy, Theodore Roosevelt, whom he clearly admires. But the president also paid tribute to T.R. in another way: by following the admonition to "speak softly and carry a big stick." Here are the words the president spoke: "I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." Sounds sensible, right? Sitting right behind the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't even flinch, although I think I saw him squeeze his eyes shut like someone in Star Wars who just felt a disturbance in the Dark Side of the Force. Today the president followed through on those sensible words in a big way, with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's announcement that the U.S. would stop issuing new coal leases on public lands while it conducts the first major review of the country's coal-leasing ...
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The End of an Error 16.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
During his State of the Union address, Barack Obama alluded, not for the first time during his presidency, to John Muir's old camping buddy, Theodore Roosevelt, whom he clearly admires. But the president also paid tribute to T.R. in another way: by following the admonition to "speak softly and carry a big stick." Here are the words the president spoke: "I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." Sounds sensible, right? Sitting right behind the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan didn't even flinch, although I think I saw him squeeze his eyes shut like someone in Star Wars who just felt a disturbance in the Dark Side of the Force. Today the president followed through on those sensible words in a big way, with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's announcement that the U.S. would stop issuing new coal leases on public lands while it conducts the first major review of the country's coal-leasing ...
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Why David Bowie Is A Hero To Animal Rights Activists Everywhere 15.1.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
English rocker David Bowie, who died Sunday at age 69, will forever be remembered for his legendary music and iconic style. But animal rights activists have their own reasons to regard Bowie as a hero. As TakePart reports, “ Heroes ,” the title track of Bowie's 1977 album, has become a rallying tune  for people fighting to end the capture and killing of whales and dolphins  in Taiji, Japan. Bowie's song is featured during the closing credits of " The Cove ," Louie Psihoyos' 2009 documentary that brought worldwide attention to the annual slaughter at Taiji. And it was Bowie who personally intervened to make sure the track was licensed to the filmmakers for a minimal $3,000 fee. (Licensing fees for movies  typically start at $25,000 and can reach six figures.) “ I didn’t know at the time about [Bowie's] support for animal rights ,” Psihoyos told TakePart this week. “But it turns out he had a huge heart.” The song, which includes the lyrics "I, I wish you could swim/Like the dolphins, like dolphins can ...
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Monkey Cannot Own Copyright To Viral Selfie, Says Federal Judge 7.1.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
It was the selfie seen around the world; a toothy snap taken inadvertently by a grinning macaque monkey. As the selfie went viral, a question arose: Just who owned the copyright to this extraordinary photograph -- the monkey, the photographer whose camera was left unattended or the public? On Wednesday, a federal judge in San Francisco added a voice of authority to the heated debate, ruling that the monkey does not have ownership of the selfie .  U.S. district Judge William Orrick said in a tentative opinion that “while Congress and the president can extend the protection of law to animals as well as humans, there is no indication that they did so in the Copyright Act,” The Associated Press reported. “I’m not the person to weigh into this," Orrick said, per Ars Technica. “This is an issue for Congress and the president. If they think animals should have the right of copyright they're free, I think, under the Constitution, to do that ." The story of the monkey selfie began in 2011 when British nature ...
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For Democrats, Debate Night Means Being Quizzed From the Right by Corporate Media 23.12.2015 Commondreams.org Views
Jim Naureckas

The Democratic and Republican debates have this asymmetry: Republican candidates are presumed to need ideological sympathizers among their questioners—Fox News, for example, or Salem Media, which teams up with CNN for GOP debates—while Democrats are thought content to be quizzed by representatives of mainstream corporate media outlets like CNN, CBS and ABC (FAIR Action Alert, 10

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Stooping to a New Low, PETA Plays the "War on the Poor" Card 21.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed Assembly Bill 2778 in late October, he provided a rationale clearly intended to alienate as few constituents as possible. Trouble is, it wasn't just local, state, and national animal welfare organizations that supported this bill, which would have allocated up to $200,000 annually from the state's Animal Population Control Program (APCP) Fund for the sterilization of "feral" cats. Other supporters included the New York State Association of Counties, the County Health Officials of New York State , the New York State Conference of Mayors , and the New York City Bar Association ( PDF ). Clearly, these public-minded organizations recognize the value of trap-neuter-return (TNR), which is becoming increasingly popular across the country for managing unowned, free-roaming ("community") cats. Standard practice begins with humanely trapping the cats; they are then evaluated and spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian, ear-tipped (the universal indicator of a ...
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America's Best Allies Against ISIS Are Inspired By A Brooklyn-Born Libertarian Socialist 19.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
ISTANBUL -- Last fall, Islamic State fighters launched a coordinated, large-scale assault on the Kurdish town of Kobani on Syria's northern border with Turkey. Fresh from victories that granted them an aura of invincibility, the extremists were about to remove the single irritant on a wide swath of the border they otherwise controlled. The world watched in resignation. The lone superpower said it would not help. U.S. officials grimly predicted the city would fall. Yet the small band of Kurds held on for days , then weeks. The U.S.-led coalition against the self-described Islamic State began to help, first with a smattering of airstrikes then with daily assaults. And by January, in a stunning turnabout that has been called a contemporary Stalingrad, the Kurds won. In succeeding, the Syrian Kurds defended not just a strategic outpost in the Middle East, but also a utopian idea of government they're putting into practice -- what they talk about as a space where decisions are made at the neighborhood level, ...
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2015 Food Trend: The Rise of the Vegan Pizza 17.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Just a decade ago, only one pizza chain in the U.S. offered vegan cheese for its pizzas. But PETA has been working with businesses to expand their meat- and dairy-free options, and now, there are 37 chains--with more than 1,000 total locations in the U.S. and Canada--that offer vegan-friendly pizzas, complete with savory, protein-rich "meats" and melty, stretchy "cheeses." Here are some of my favorites: Mellow Mushroom is the largest vegan-friendly pizza chain in the U.S., with 150 locations that offer vegan Daiya cheese, tofu, tempeh, and a wide variety of fresh veggies. Pizza Lucé is based in Minnesota, with eight locations and an animal-friendly history that goes all the way back to 1995, thanks to vegan employees at the very first store. It offers mock duck, tofu, and house-made vegan cheese crafted from cashews and tofu. Pieology , which has 67 locations, recently worked with PETA to add vegan Daiya cheese to its restaurants, more of which are on the way--it was recently listed as one of the ...
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These 15 Restaurant Chains Are Switching To Cage-Free Eggs 16.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Call them birds of a feather. One by one, the country's major restaurant chains are promising to use only cage-free eggs.  Just this year, McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Taco Bell and others have made this eggsemplary commitment, responding to consumer demand for farm animals to be treated better. Cage-free isn't the same as, say, free-range. It just means that the hens have access to open indoor space and aren't kept in cages , though they do not necessarily get to spend time outdoors.  So, the cage-free life isn't ideal -- but it's certainly better than some of the alternatives. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals paints a grim portrait  of what life is like for most of this country's nearly 300 million egg-laying hens. In many places, as many as 10 birds are crammed into a single wire cage with barely enough room to move. The hens often have their beaks cut down  to keep them from pecking each other to death . Open Philanthropy's  Lewis Bollard estimates that 2015's ...
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'Cowspiracy' isn't causing the climate crisis, capitalism is. 11.12.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us

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Doug Tompkins, North Face Co-Founder, Was A True American Hero 9.12.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Doug Tompkins , the business leader-turned-deep ecologist who  died  Tuesday in a kayaking accident in Chile, was a true American hero. Gritty, uncompromising, passionate and compassionate, he took the hundreds of millions of dollars he made from having co-founded the North Face and Esprit consumer brands and invested them where his heart was -- in conservation. Unlike the majority of rich businessmen, who seek to give something back in the form of cash handouts only after their careers have added to the inequality and environmental destruction in the world, Tompkins devoted more than 25 years of his life to actively investing his money, time and energy into preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, because he realized that all our lives depend on it. In fact Tompkins, who was 72, poured more than $300 million into preserving more land than any other individual in history, purchasing over 2 million acres of wilderness in Argentina and Chile, and then handing much of it back to the governments as national ...
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Dunkin’ Donuts Wants To Help America Run On Cage-Free Eggs 8.12.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Dunkin' Donuts just announced a clucking good move for animal welfare.  On Monday, the Massachusetts-based chain committed to a timeline for transitioning to using only cage-free eggs. Once fully implemented, the change is expected to make life much better for about 1.4 million egg-laying hens per year -- animals who are now subject to  one of farming's cruelest practices . "We have a responsibility to ensure the humane treatment of animals, an issue we know is also important to both our franchisee community and our loyal guests," Christine Riley Miller, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Dunkin' Brands, said in a statement . The fine print: It's going to take a decade to get there. Josh Balk, senior food policy director for the Humane Society of the United States, tells The Huffington Post that this commitment, far off as it may be, is still important. Dunkin' Donuts is "one of the most iconic restaurant brands in the country, and a major user of eggs," he said, which makes Monday's ...
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